Recent Projects

“The Glass Barn”, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, IN

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to update our previous work to add more farmers to video conference with and new videos.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed Phase:  July, 2019

Watchout Exhibit Upgrade, The West Virginia Cultural Center and State Museum, Charleston, WV

Synopsis: ECE was to assist the Museum in its Watchout upgrade, by providing the necessary modifications to the control program for the new Watchout configurations.

Contracted by: West Virginia State Museum

Completed: March, 2019

“The Comet Packet Boat Experience”, Erie Canal Discovery Center, Lockport, NY

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to reverse engineer an immersive video theater for which the original design package and control program had been lost.  We were also asked to fix client identified problems with the old system as well as incorporate additional safety features.  In the process, we changed the control configuration for the sliding screen/entrance panel and the operation of the two simulated locks doors (that were actually visitor exit doors).

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: March, 2019

“Safari Experience Theater”, Big Cat Falls, Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to provide a second touch screen and new controls into this project completed the year before.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: March, 2019

“Safety Maze Interactive”, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Canton, MI

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to supply two three-digit, seven segment display timers to be incorporated into the two Safety Maze Interactives.  They needed to time visitor’s performance in navigating a a ball through a two-axis table up to 99.9 seconds.  It needed to respond to contact closures (switches) when the ball reached the goal and display the time or start over if the ball fell into one of the numerous traps.  Click on the picture for a larger view.

Contracted by:  Hadley Exhibits Inc

Completed: November, 2018

“Safari Experience Theater”, Big Cat Falls, Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to develop a NetLinx program to control this entry theater to the big cat section of the zoo.  This three synchronized video show with surround audio and a NetLinx controlled lighting system and also provided the user with a presentation capability in the space.  It provided volume control and system diagnostics as well as specific show controls.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: May, 2018

“Walters’ Art Museum”, Baltimore, MD

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to develop custom electronics to control a DMX LED illuminator and a SmartGlass glass cover to an extremely delicate artifact.  We also used an ECE Motion Detector Interface (even though it was interfacing with a metal touch switch) to limit the amount of time the artifact was exposed to the visitor level of illumination.  ECE had been interested in developing DMX control devices since 2008, but this was our first foray into that technology.  It also prompted us to get serious about developing our DMX Commander which just became available in 2020.

Contracted by:  Capitol Exhibit Services, Inc.

Completed: March, 2018

“Farmhouse Experience Projector Upgrade”, The Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park, Fishers, IN

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to modify the control program to incorporate two new laser projectors into the Farmhouse Experience.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: March, 2018

“The Pirates Fate” 4-D Theater, The Tampa Bay Historical Center, Tampa Bay, FL

Synopsis: ECE was requested to program and implement a NetLinx system to control this immersive show in the belly of a pirate ship.  It was a four screen video using both BrightSign mpeg players and Windows PCs all of which, not only had to be synchronized, but also provided the audience different outcomes based on their aggregated inputs on a 72-inch touch screen mounted in a table in the middle of the bow of the ship.  One of the screens was actually a peppers ghost effect of life size pirate actors that interacted with the visitors.  It also gave the visitor the ability to fire a ridiculously loud canon at ships projected on the horizon.  The video cannon balls and audio were synchronized to the cannon firing.  The NetLinx system also controlled a CueServer to provide an elaborate synchronized light show.  Not only did the control system communicate with the Windows PCs, it also powered them up each day and gracefully shut them down in the evening via ECE’s PC Commander App.  Fire alarm interface, user volume control and trouble shooting diagnostics rounded out ECE’s contribution to this Disney-esq show.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed: November, 2017

“Cave of the Winds Experience”, The Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, NY

Synopsis: ECE was requested to design, program and implement a NetLinx system to control the entire visitor progression to the ultimate goal of hiking below Niagara Falls.  There were three areas the visitors need to transverse on their way to the excursion.  First was the ticket line which included seven outdoor monitors displaying applicable Niagara video as well as microphoned audio for staff members to direct guest.  Then, there was an exhibit space with video and computer interactives for the visitors to engage as they waited to enter the next stage of their journey, a three screened synchronized video and light theater.  Finally they entered the hike excursion preparation room with a large 20-foot by 8-foot video screen (three projectors).  The media on this display system had to be easily changed by the staff for the different seasonal operations  that they must accommodate.  The control system had to time control every section’s activities in order to get the highest throughput possible while allowing interruptions to occur.

What the Visitor Sees

Behind the Clock Face

One unique tasking that ECE undertook was to develop the electronics for a large, analog, 8-minute countdown  clock.  We designed from scratch a stepper motor clock that could easily be controlled by the NetLinx system to indicate the synchronized times to the next show.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed: October, 2017

“Sea Turtle Recovery Gallery”, The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston, SC

Synopsis: ECE was requested to design, program and implement a NetLinx system to control the gallery exhibits, theater with DMX theatrical LED lighting and a veterinarian presentation (camera and audio) capability for the glass partitioned medical facilities with an extremely challenging deadline (less than three weeks).

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed: July, 2017

“Holland Energy Park” Interactive LED Exhibits, Holland, MI

Synopsis: ECE was requested to develop electronic controls for two interactive LED exhibits.

The first was called the Global LED Interactive.  When the visitor toggled the switch in the middle of the exhibit, the control system would sequentially illuminate one of three LED circuits, hold for a time and then illuminate the next, hold and then illuminate the third.  After the prerequisite amount of time, it would reverse the order of extinguishing each of the LED circuits.  Click on the image for a larger graphic of the exhibit.

The second exhibit was called the “Ice Melt” exhibit.  Visitors were invited to control the flow of hot water from the main source pipe to a simulated walkway using a large crank wheel.  When they rotated the crank at least 45 degrees clockwise, a new chase LED stream would appear in the secondary pipe from the LED chase in the main pipe and would start to melt the snowflake graphic in the sidewalk in a nice, graceful fade.   Returning the crank to its full counterclockwise position would reverse the process.  ECE used a specially designed LED dimmer for the snow flakes and electronics controller to control the LED chase in the two pipes.   Click on the image for a larger graphic of the exhibit.

Contracted by:  Color-Ad Signs and Exhibits.

Completed:  June, 2017

“Woodlawn Manor Barn Experience” Show Modifications, Sandy Springs, MD

Synopsis:  The Montgomery Park Service asked ECE to come in and make major modifications to the  control program that would provide improvements to the visitor experience and give the Park Service more options in operating the large format video shows.

Contracted by:  Montgomery Park Service

Completed: May, 20157

“Behind the Badge Gallery Update”, National US Postal Museum, Washington, DC

Synopsis: ECE was part of the original team for this gallery in 2014.  We were asked to develop custom electronics to convert two exhibits from button actuation to motion detector activation with some very specific operational criteria.  We used our General Interactive Exhibit Controller to provide the interface between the motion detector and the SmartGlass windows and exhibit lighting.  As a result of this experience, we have developed a new device dedicated to this function that is user adjustable.  We call it the Motion Detector Interface (PN:  ece-I-16-004, REv 1).  More details are located in the Product Section of our WEB site labeled “Inputs and Sensors”.  Click here for additional information.

Contracted by:  Capital Exhibit Services Inc.

Completed: November, 2016

“Meuse-Argonne Battle Monument Visitor’s Center”, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France

Synopsis: ECE was requested to develop the control program for a three screen Watchout program depicting the saga of the Meuse-Argonne offensive during World War I in two different formats: a full looping and a shorter version looping.  Volume control is provided throught the selection of Watchout layers with different audio volume layers.  The show included DMX lighting control for the show’s interlude times, all off, bulb check and case on/off lighting.  The system provides elaborate Watchout diagnostics as well as a daily system power up and down with a customized daylight savings function which conforms to the French application.  User interface is provided by a rack mounted touch panel and a wireless iPad.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: August, 2016

The Niagara Power Vista Visitor’s Center, Niagara Falls, NY

Synopsis: ECE was requested to develop the control program for the entire three-level center of interactive exhibits.  This included providing daily power up sequences, daily graceful PC power down capability of 41 PC driven exhibits plus total control of a Watchout PC three screen video theater.  PC control was through ECE’s a proprietary control app in each PC.  The Watchout theater provided capability for operating in a manual mode and looping mode with a entrance display providing visitors with information on the next showing.  One unique feature of the theater is the ability of the audience to select, on-the-fly, captions in one of six different languages.  The control system also controls a total of six laser projectors with operational time and temperature monitoring.  One of the projectors controlled was a Digital Projection Insight 4k Laser (12,000 ANSI Lumens) where we provided real time monitoring 13 different critical temperature readings.  The control system also integrated control of a pneumatically controlled 15 seat simulator/theater.  In addition, the system controlled six Multitaction Display monitors arranged in a 2×6 video wall table.  The control system also provided lighting control for the theater and simulator lights.  The system also provided a seven day schedule system and interfaced with the fire alarm system.  The user control interface was via a rack mounted touch screen and a wireless iPad.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: June, 2016

Service Call, The West Virginia State Museum, Charleston, WV

Synopsis: ECE was requested to trouble shoot a recurring problem with the control of the new exhibits added in 2014.  ECE was able to isolate the problem to a bug in AMX’s firmware, that they had named the “49.7 Day Lockup”.  Returned the system to operational status by upgrading the firmware.

Contracted by: West Virginia State Museum

Completed: March, 2016

“Combat Zone Gallery”, The National Museum of the Pacific war, Fredericksburg, TX

Synopsis: ECE was asked to develop an AMX master controller as an exhibit schedule system for this gallery’s exhibits which interfaced with a BPI proprietary PC power module.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: March, 2016

“Farmhouse Experience Upgrade”, The Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park, Fishers, IN

Synopsis:  In 2011, ECE was involved in the initial installation of this four “D” experience which had four synchronized mpeg players (Adtec Edje), elaborate synchronized lighting, two 12-14-foot diameter turn tables, each with two dioramas and one video projection of larger than life actors and numerous gags (like falling trees and canon blowing holes in the side of the theater).  At this time we were asked to convert the show control from the Adtec Edjes to four synchronized BrightSign XD1032s.  We also converted two other exhibits from the Edje to the XD1032s.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: December, 2015

“Woodlawn Manor Barn Experience”, Sandy Springs, MD

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to program a show and exhibit control system that would be located in an barn built in the early 1800s with no environmental controls.  There are two large “theater” areas where video vignettes of early Quakers and African Americans dealing with the issue of slavery during the 1800s.  The videos were projected on 20-foot plus uneven stone walls with laser projectors.  Two each RS232 controlled BrightSign HD1020s provided the mepg playback.  In addition to controlling several 30-60 minute shows in the two bays with DMX lighting, the the system also provided interactive control of seven audio kiosks with capacitive touch switches and motion detector triggered gobo lighting.  The audio playback was through seven BrightSign LS322 mp3 players controlled through a UDP protocol and audio volume control through nine RS232 controlled Stewart AV25-2 amplifiers.  The system also provided custom daily scheduling options specified by the site staff.  User interface was through a touch screen on the rack and a wireless iPad.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: November, 2015

“Wolf Audio Kiosk”, North Carolina Zoological Park, Asheboro, NC

Synopsis:  ECE to provide a digital message repeater with some fairly unique capabilities for this outdoor kiosk.  The normal DMR requirements were:  play three different non-interrupted wolf audio files when triggered by metal active touch switches and provide up to 15 watts of audio to a speaker.  First unique requirement, it needed to work in an uncontrolled environment (subject to the prevailing ambient temperature and humidity).  Next it needed to provide to provide 5vdc power to the three active metal touch switches.

Purchased by:  North Carolina Zoological Park

Completed: October, 2015

“The McBride Handcart Disaster” Show, National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper, WY

Synopsis:  ECE has been involved in this Museum since its original installation in 2001 and was asked to adjust the exhibit’s NetLinx program for “The McBride Handcart Disaster” also know as the “cold room” theater.  The new show needed a new, shorter timeline, for illuminating the objects in the room.  In addition, Boston Productions wanted to incorporate wind effects of varying velocities during the show; the fans being DMX controlled along with the lights.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: September, 2015

“Hall of Champions” Interactive Exhibits, Kyle Field, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Synopsis:  ECE was requested to develop a NetLinx master program and touch panel pages for the exhibit control system for the interactive exhibits in the “Hall of Champions”, many of which were mobile.  The program provided automated system power up/down scheduling system, power control (via both PC1s and WattBoxes), and configuration/operating modes.  Several of the mobile interactive could have one of two sources displayed (one could have three sources one of which was an input from other facility equipment).   The Hall itself had four operating modes:  normal, game day, gala and presentation.  The control system also provided volume control on two of the mobile interactive stations.  Four of the interactive stations contained nine-monitor video walls.  The center piece exhibit was video projection on the entrance wall by a Panasonic 16K projector.  The program not only provided projector off/on and default source selection, but also monitors lamp hours on the four lamps and three projector temperatures: input temp, lamp housing temp and optics temperature.  Not only was the current temperature displayed for each, but the highest temperature for each was captured in separate displays, which could be reset by the staff.  ECE suggested temperature monitoring for this projector because the projector was encased in a small enclosure which could limit cooling air.

In addition to NetLinx programming, ECE also provided one of its digital message repeaters (with custom firmware) and a TriLight Commander device in one of the exhibits.  It was desired that a microwave motion detector would trigger the DMR.  The control circuitry in the DMR, once tripped, would through the TriLight Cmdr gracefully ramp up lights on three channels of a satellite dimmer pack and then start playing an audio file through an audio amp and audio transducer provided by others.  Once the file was finished playing it would gracefully dim the lights back down to a low level and the system would reset to receive the next motion detector trigger.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed: August, 2015

“Elephant Communication Interactive” Exhibit, Rotunda Upgrade Project, The National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

Synopsis:  ECE was asked to provide the electronics needed to implement an interactive feature on the infamous “Elephant Display” in the rotunda of the Museum.  The exhibit was to be triggered by visitors placing their hand on a small triangular portion of the exhibit reader rail.  The pad would then vibrate based on an audio recording of an elephant communicating in the wild.  ECE used one of its DMRs with an on-board 15-watt amplifier which was connected to a 4.25″ diameter audio transducer to effect the vibration in the exhibit.  We also used one of our standalone 2-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ capacitive touch switches as the visitor interface.  Not only did ECE provide the documentation and instructions for installation of the custom electronics, but we also provided suggestions for redesigning the exhibit to prevent the vibrations of the interactive from being transferred to the rest of the reader rail which was another design requirement.  We also provided consultation on the final audio file used in the exhibit.

Contracted by:  Capitol Exhibit Services Inc

Completed: August, 2015

“General Store Experience Upgrade”, The Conner Prairie Interactive Historical Park, Fishers, IN

Synopsis:  In 2011, ECE was involved in the initial installation of this four “D” experience which had four synchronized mpeg players (Adtec Edje), elaborate synchronized show lighting, and numerous gags (like overhead lanterns being hit by bullets and store shelves being torn down by rebel marauders).  At this time we were asked to convert the show control from the Adtec Edjes to synchronized BrightSign XD1032s.  This complemented the update we did earlier in the year for the Farmhouse Experience.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc

Completed: July, 2015

“Heritage on the Garden” Conference Rooms, New England Development, Boston, MA

Synopsis:  ECE was requested to develop six control systems and seven touch panels for the conference room facilities of subject complex.  Equipment controlled consisted of three different models of Sharp large format flat screens, Extron switching equipment (multiple units in most rooms), BiAmp Tesira VI digital audio processors (providing preset recall, volume control, mic gain control and mute/un-mute), Lutron GraphicEye QS lighting, Mechoshade RS232 controllers and BigShot HD PTZ cameras.  There was also IR control of Xfinity cable boxes and Apple TVs.  Six of the touch screens were AMX Modero “S” Series touch panels and one was an iPad.  Other features included:  fire alarm integration, password protection on room configuration for a divide/combine room and quick select of preset broadcast TV stations on the cable box (with user capability to change the channels for each of the nine presets).

Contracted by:  TriTech Communications, Inc

Completed: July, 2015

West Virginia State Museum Cultural Center, Charleston, WV

Synopsis:  ECE did the original control system for this museum about five years ago for another museum fabricator/integrator.  We were asked to provide modifications and a control program for an additional master controller for enhancements to the system.  The enhancement included a new synchronized show on an existing Alcron Binloop player using four reproducers in which four portraits in the john Brown area come alive and debate the actions of John Brown’s raid.  Existing audio is muted during this show which is triggered by a motion sensor.  Since the DSPs used in the original system are no longer available, a Precis DSP was added for volume control and mimics the operation of the original system.  Another new exhibit using a channel of an existing Binloop plays the conversation of two soldiers in a tent, their silhouettes seen on outside of a tent caused by LED illumination controlled by the modified show program.  A third Binloop audio is played in the Wheeling area where the Captain and his crew describe their next cargo shipment.  In addition to these Binloop shows, two animatronic shows were added and are controlled through motion detectors and contact closures from the system.  The first show is an animatronic marine who comes alive and illuminated as he tells more of the story of John Brown’s raid.  Then in the Transportation gallery, animatronic animals were added:  a rattle snake, cardinal, hawk are animated while audio only animals include a raccoon, crows, an owl and sparrows.  Once again the show is triggered by a motion detector and the animatronic system is controlled through contact closure.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed: November, 2014

Eastern Bank Exhibit Schedule System, Boston, MA

Synopsis:  ECE was requested to develop a power control schedule system for  the interactive displays in several branch offices of the bank.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed First Branch:  September, 2014.

Texas School Paging System, Dallas, TX

Synopsis:  ECE provide three of its Serial controlled DMRs for a school paging system.  Since then, we’ve supplied two more for another system.

Contracted by:  Barron Systems

Completed Phase:  August, 2014.

Country Mark Visitor Center, Mt. Vernon, IN

Synopsis:  ECE contracted to develop a control system for a facility with an exhibit areas, small theater, a divisible AV presentation room and a class room.  The AV presentation room, class room and theater all had the ability to present the following video on their large screen projection:  a Blu Ray player, Apple TV, a windows screen sharing app and a laptop wall plate within the room.  The Theater also had the capability of playing an orientation video on Country Mark, a petroleum processing plant.  Volume control in each room was controlled with an Ashly DSP and switching accomplished with a Kramer HDMI switcher.  One projector was the Christie Digital dVision 30 and the other three were Canon Realis WUX5000.  Control of Apple TVs and the Blu Rays were through IR.

In the exhibit area, ECE provide a Exhibit Power Commando to wirelessly control in floor lighting.  We also interfaced with a Windows PC to interface docent control over the a four computer kiosk in the middle of the exhibit area.  In the Theater, we controlled the Brighsign HD1020 serially for docent control as well.  User interface employed an AMX touch screen in the rack and four iPads for wireless control throughout the facility.  As system scheduler and fire alarm interface were also provided.  We also provided contact closure for a miniaturized model of a crude oil pump.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed Phase:  August, 2014.

“The Glass Barn”, Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis, IN

Synopsis:  ECE had provided  the control system for the interactive exhibits a couple of years ago and was requested to provide an update program to incorporate some changes.  These changes included show timing changes and adding a fourth generic “live” show to the show options.  We were also requested to add the ability for presentations to be done at the 16 screen video wall.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed Phase:  June, 2014.

Hanford Reach Visitor Center, Kennewick, WA

Synopsis:  Hanford Reach’s claim to fame is the fact that it was the secret site for the first nuclear enrichment facility for the US’s first atomic weapon.  The main themes for the Visitor Center are geological development of the area, conservation and the early US nuclear weapons program.  ECE was contracted to develop an exhibit control system for the electronic media portion of the museum.  This included control of a Digital Projection EV8000 projector, an Alcorn DVM8000 mpeg player and a ProTraxx 16 channel mp3 player  We also controlled several Samsung flat screens that were not capable of serial controlled, so we employed IR control.  We also controlled a nine-unit Brightsign synchronized show using the BrightSign’s GPIO.  Essentially there were two major shows in this exhibit, one of which encompassed about 3000 sq. ft.

The first major exhibit was a video on the geological development of the area.  The projector projected its video directly down onto a convex screen, mounted table top level with eight stations around it.  During the looping show, there were three rings of lighted text that were individually illuminated during the show.  As mentioned, there are eight visitor stations around the circular screen.  Each one has a speaker for the show’s audio and a sonar senor to sense when a visitor is present.  When no one was at the station, the intent was for the audio to be very low.  When someone approached the volume would gracefully ramped up to a more useful level.  It would gracefully ramp back down when no one was there for a short period of time.  Volume levels were controlled by a Precis DSP and ECE provide the client an interface to set the lower and louder volumes.

The second major show consisted of nine Brightsign players playing a two hour, 17-minute show.  ECE was required to keep eight channels of the Protrax in synchronization with the BrightSign videos.  During 12-each, ten minute periods the ambient audio (from the ProTraxx) was low and the screens showed appropriate regional scenes.  At the end of each ten minute segment, a typical experience for this geographical area would occur, like a flock of geese flying overhead.  At this time the audio level would be increased to a much louder level.  This was all done post production in the media.  ECE was tasked with developing a method using hits from six motion detectors throughout the area to adjust the audio to one of three different levels;  each level capable of be adjusted by the user.  All of the video screens, speakers and motion detectors were distributed throughout an approximate 3,000 sq. ft. of area in the museum.  Once again the audio volumes were controlled through the Precis DSP.  The other challenge was to provide a way for the space to be use to do presentations.  Switching audio was done with the Precis while switching video content was done using the Samsung display  inputs.  User volume adjustment was also provided in this mode of operation.  The system also had a seven day scheduler and fire alarm interface.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed Phase:  June, 2014.

“Behind the Badge” US Postal Investigative Services Gallery, National US Postal Museum, Washington, DC

Scope:   ECE had two scopes for this gallery.  The first was to develop custom electronics for four interactive exhibits.  The first exhibit had five finger prints with a frame slider above them where the visitor could select one of the five finger prints as the correct answer.  The visitor would then press a button for evaluation.  This would illuminate the selected finger print with either a red “X” (the wrong selection) or a green check mark for the correct selection.  the second exhibit had three X-Ray graphics that once again could be selected by a frame slider.  Once the frame slider was in correctly aligned with the graphic it would back-illuminate the graphic.  The third exhibit had the photograph of three suspects that could be selected with a sliding frame.  Once the frame was stationary on the image, it would back-illuminate with either a red “X” or a green check mark.  The final exhibit had three rotatable cylinders in tandem.  Each cylinder had three graphics on it.  One of the graphics on each cylinder was associated with one image on each of the other cylinders.  If the visitor aligned all three cylinders so that all of the correct images were showing, a payoff light would turn on for fifteen second’s.

ECE developed a single circuit that could accommodate all of these exhibits.  It had ten total inputs that could either be dry contact closure or a sensor input.  It had eight outputs that could drive 500ma loads.  Four of the eight outputs could be upgraded to relays that could handle 2.0 amps at 24vdc or less.  This circuit could handle several different size Rosco LitePads for back illumination.  ECE also used a Hall Effect Sensor for all positioning sensors for the sliders and the cylinders.  ECE intends to provide this customizable circuit as a product for other like exhibits.

The second scope for this gallery was to develop a NetLinx master control program and touch panel pages to control all other electronic exhibits in the gallery.  This control included the graceful WOL and shutdown of three Window PCs, a Planar monitor, light dimmers and to interface with a program in one of the PCs to co-ordinate light dimming with the program.  The program also provided a seven day, user adjustable scheduler for the client to automate system power up and down and also interfaced with the fire alarm system.  The client also asked ECE to figure a way that another gallery’s control system could automated with the scheduler in this new system which ECE did without having to modify the code in the other gallery system.

Scope 1 Contracted by:  Capitol Exhibit Services

Completed:  May 2014.

Scope 2 Contracted by:  BPI

Completed:  June 2014.

Ohiopyle Visitor Center, Ohiopyle, PA

Synopsis:  ECE developed a seven-day, with holidays, exhibit power up/down system for this visitor center.  BPI sent the equipment to ECE to upload and test and ECE returned the master and touch panel back to BPI for the install.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed Phase I:  May, 2014.

“Rosie the Riveter”  Home Front National Park, Richmond, CA

Scope:   ECE was asked to develop, install and test a control system for this museum at BPI’s production facilities in Massachusetts so that BPI staff could install it on-site in California.  the system consisted of two Masters.  The first Master controlled an Alcorn Binloop which plays one of two, three-screen synchronized video shows.  It also integrated opening/closing shades and light dimming during these shows.  It also controlled audio volume on six channels of audio (four different exhibits) based on a motion detector hit.  We provided the client with the ability to individually set the maximum loudness and the lowest volume that would be controlled by the motion detector.  The second system controlled an Alcorn ProTrax, using nine of its sixteen channels to play two synchronized shows: one with four channels and one with five channels.  It also controlled 9 channels of audio similarly to the first master with user settable lower and louder volumes for automatic control. The two Masters utilized Master-to-Master communications, a seven day scheduler for automated system power up and down and a fire alarm interface.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed:  April 2014.

“Are You an Escape Artist” Theater, North Charleston Fire Museum, N. Charleston, SC

Scope:   ECE had two scopes for this 4-D experience theater piece on home fire safety.  The first was to develop the control system for a seven screen, synchronized video using two Watchout PCs as the media player with seven channels of audio.  The producer wanted to exploit ECE’s Watchout Module which provides the capability for Watchout to send triggers to the NetLinx Master for each gag actuation.  So timing of the gags is in the Watchout timeline not in the NetLinx Master’s timeline.  User volume control was via an EAW DX1208.  Control included a 12-foot diameter turn table divided into three dioramas.  One section had a ten-foot wide video screen, one section depicted a “typical room” in a house but had pop out doors that turned the room into a burned out rubble which included a doll house on a mini-turntable:  one side a pristine toy doll house and the other a charred doll house shell, and the last section had a full frontal fire truck cab cut from a retired fire engine with flashing lights, and a front windshield that full size firemen could be projected on as they raced to fight a fire.  There were two sets of “dual stacked portrait oriented” flat screens, outboard of each side of the stage, on which firemen slid down poles when responding to fire alarms.  They also projected larger than life fire fighters with fire hoses pointed at the audience.  More to come on that!  ECE’s show control program provided control for all gags, Watchout, the DSP and projector.  It also provided for manual show controls as well as once an hour and twice an hour automated shows.  It integrated an IR safety curtain and emergency buttons for halting the show and the large turn table motion and also provided theater emergency shutdown based on a trigger form the facility fire alarm system.  In addition, a user scheduler was provided for scheduling system daily power up and down sequences.  This scheduling system also included other non-theater electronic exhibits in the Museum.  This program also included control of the second portion of ECE’s scope:  the water gag.

The second portion of the scope was to develop a water spritzer system that would spray the audience when the on-scene firemen opened their fire nozzles on them.  Some of the challenges for this water gag were it had to cover a 20-foot by 7-foot seating area, the water source was over 75 feet from the theater and there was no drainage facility in the theater-stage area.  ECE designed a system that used a booster pump to increase the facility water pressure to 160psi and had individual solenoids for controlling each of the 10 mister nozzles which virtually eliminated any drips when not in use.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed:  February 2014.

“Seeing the Elephant” Theater, Kenosha Civil War Museum, Kenosha, WI

Scope:   The Museum had planned for a 360 degree projection theater when the Museum was first built several years ago.  They commissioned BPI to design the system and create the video that would seamlessly project on to a 44-foot diameter, 10 feet tall, cylindrical screen.  BPI use Digital Projection Hilite projectors to present the eight Watchout displays and a Pansonic projector for the countdown screen.  ECE developed the control system which controlled the Watchout playback, the nine projectors, two lighting systems (Lutron Graphic Eye and a CueServer), a Brightsign HD1020 to play the 28 different countdown videos and two EAW DX1208 DSPs.  The control system provided:  automatic playing of the show on the hour and half hour, manual show operations, correct selection of the countdown videos between shows, volume control for the 13 channels of audio, static light control, a fire alarm triggered emergency system shut down and diagnostics for all controlled devices.  Projector diagnostics also include the capability to project both internal projector grids and Watchout grid videos to assist in projector alignment and the testing capability for a DMX controlled air cannon.

Contracted by:  BPI

Completed:  December 2013.

World Map, University of Alabama-Huntsville Campus Student Union, Huntsville, AL

Scope:   The University wanted a 16-foot by 8-foot map of the world installed approximately 9 feet high in their facility that depicts which world countries have students attending UAH and what countries have visiting UAH students.  They wanted two LEDs in each country: a blue one for countries with foreign students in attendance and a white one for the countries with UAH students.  ECE provided two Serial LED Commander Systems that controlled a total of 388 LEDs.  ECE also provided a Windows program for the University staff to update the LED Cmdrs with the current information that was loaded into non-volatile RAM.  For every country, there were two check boxes, one for each LED.  They simply check the appropriate boxes and load the data through a Serial Data Port in a nearby closet.  The program also had easy maintenance provisions for checking all the LEDs operation and saving configurations for future use.  ECE also provided documentation that included instructions on LED wiring harness assembly, installation suggestions and operating instructions.

 worldmap-1 worldmap-2 

Contracted by:  ColorAd, Inc.

Completed:  November, 2013.

Click here, for more information on the LED Commander System.

The FireLab Theater, Edventure Children’s Museum, Columbia, SC

Scope:  The Museum was overhauling a number of its exhibits, the biggest being the FireLab Theater that is a complex theater with projection of actors into a 3-D set.  It has cartoon like devices, like a large, mechanical ashtray that rocks and tips over and ignites a couch on fire and an enormous talking smoke detector.  It also has extravagant lighting for simulating a house fire and a water spritzer system that squirts the children in the audience when the video fireman opens up the hose at them.  The upgrade included two new projectors, replacing the synchronized DVD players with an Alcorn HD Binloop and shortening the video.  ECE’s scope was to modify the existing NetLinx program for the new gear and adjusting the timing of the gags in the show for the modified show file.  BPI also procured three of ECE’s Serial Digital Message Repeaters for a standalone exhibit.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions, Inc.

Completed:  October, 2013

The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago, IL

Synopsis:  ECE had developed a control program for the Orientation Theater back in 2010 that used a SignEdje mpeg player.  The Bank wanted to add other features to the Theater.  Ultimately, they wanted the capability to include, or not include, a second video, whose length could change and which was not available at the time of the upgrade, in an automated playing of the theater.  We developed a fairly user-friendly way to do this.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions, Inc.

Completed Phase I:  September, 2010.

The Port Canaveral Visitor Center, Cape Canaveral, FL

Scope:  ECE had two tasks in this project, from two different firms. First task was to develop custom electronics that would pulsate 20 LEDs on and off on a map of Cape Canaveral that was ~138 inches by ~60 Inches. The requirement for the pulsating LEDs included the capability for the designer to adjust the speed of the pulsation. ECE provided a very smooth ramp on and off that could be varied between ~2.0 seconds and ~18.0 seconds. ECE specified the specific LEDs, provided the custom electronic PCBs, the LED wiring harnesses, and documentation. The documentation included installation (including LED placement in the map) and operational instructions.

The second tasking was to develop a NetLinx Master program and iPad touch panel pages to control powering exhibits on and off in the exhibition area. This included controlling two projectors (one of which projected inside a globe), a number of power controllers and four PCs. ECE used its PC Commando applet to gracefully power down the three Win7 PCs and one Win8 PC and it used Wake on LAN technology to boot them up each morning with the system power on, all controlled by a user adjustable schedule. This system also interfaces with the building Fire Alarm system.

LED Map Contracted by:  Capital Exhibit Services, Inc.

Completed:  August, 2013

The History Museum of Southwestern Virginia, Roanoke, VA

Scope:   This museum was not designed to have a central control system, but ECE was asked to provide some individual controls for two of the exhibits. Although there was no central control, the exhibit area power was controlled by electrical contactors in the electrical closet. This worked fine for everything but the projector in the venue (a Christie Digital DHD800). It could not be shut down by removing power, as this would significantly reduce the lamp life of its bulbs. For this exhibit, ECE provided a Serial Commander and a power sensor to control the projector. Whenever the power sensor detected a change in the exhibit power space, it would provide contact closure (open and close) to the Serial Commander. The Serial Commander’s firmware was developed so it would try and force the projector to be in the same state as the power sensor. Not only was it programmed to power up or down the projector on changing states of the power sensor, it would also monitor the projector status and re-issue commands until the projector acknowledged it was in the correct state. The firmware also ensured that a command was never issued to the projector when it was in a warming or cooling state. The second exhibit ECE provided control to was a small object theater. This exhibit had a three-video synchronized show (BrightSign HD1020) and five objects: four that were under dim able lights and the fifth one under two LED rope lights. The control method devised used an AMX NI700 controller controlling an AXB-DMX512 controller to control the four dim able lights. ECE also provided one of its Panjo Interfaces which converts NI700 IOs to relay functions. It took the visitor button press and then through the Panjo Interface issued a pulsed contact closure to the control BrightSign GPIO to get it to start the synchronized show. It then controlled the lighting on the objects either through DMX control or via a relay in the Panjo Interface that controlled the LED light strips. ECE hopes to develop another version of the Panjo Interface for this museum that will dim the LED light strips rather than just turn them on and off.

Contracted by:  WIT Technology Services

Completed:  May, 2013

The Monmouth Battlefield Visitor Center, Freehold, NJ

Scope:   Developed a NetLinx Master program and touch panel pages to control powering exhibits on and off in the exhibition area and controlling an orientation theater which tells the story of Washington’s first victory during the Revolutionary War. The orientation show not only plays the video file on an SignEdje which is projected by a Christie-Digital DHD800 projector but also controls the lights, the screen and black out shades at the end of the show where the video transitions from a filmed view of the battlefield to a live view of the field through a 20-foot wide window in front of the theater. The system has its own internal schedule that can power the system up and down at user designated times. The system is also tied into the fire alarm system and will shut down if a fire alarm or other emergency is present. The theater is dual use and the system can automatically be configured for either the orientation show or for a live presentation with the presenters PC plugged into a wall plate and projected onto the theater screen.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed:  May, 2013

The Indiana State Fair Exhibit “We Are Farmers”, Indianapolis, IN

Scope:  Developed a NetLinx Master program and touch panel pages for iPad2 for a venue with a two video synchronized show, one video on a 65-inch Samsung and the other a Digital Projection Vision30 projector on a curved screen. The operation has two modes. The first is mode provides either manual operation or sequencing through three dual-screen shows of three farmers. The other mode is a live videoconference with one of the three farmers on location at their operating farm. All control of the system is through the iPAd2 that also establishes the video conferencing through an Apple TV. An AMX Precis switcher provides switching of the audio between the stock mpeg shows and the live Apple TV feed. The Precis also provides volume control over both the program audio and the audio from a wireless microphone in the in the venue. ECE also provided four Exhibit Power Commandos for powering mobile interactive computer stations.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed:  May, 2013

The Bible Museum’s Traveling Exhibit “ Passages”, First Exhibition in Colorado Springs, CO

Scope:  Developed a NetLinx Master program and touch panel pages for a synchronized two video show which uses a Pepper’s Ghost technique of displaying Abraham Lincoln reflecting on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and Julia Ward Howe (the author of the song) commenting on the song, Lincoln and slavery in over-sized dining room scene. The exhibit uses an 18-foot by 9-foot high acrylic sheet and a back wall scrim to impose both Lincoln and Howe in different locations of the dining room. Projection uses a Christie-Digital DHD635e projector and a Panasonic PT-TW231RU (wide lens) projector with the synchronized mpeg videos being played by an Alcorn HD Binloop. To assist in the Peppers Ghost illusion are 8 zones of dimmable lights being controlled by an AMX AXB-DMX512 controller. The exhibit has an internal scheduler for powering the system up and down each day at user designated times and the show is button operated.

Contracted by:  Boston Productions Inc.

Completed:  April, 2013

Ft. Necessity National Battle Field Visitor Center, Farmington, PA

Scope:  Redesigned the theater and the exhibit AV systems to operate solid-state mpeg players in lieu of the original mechanical devices. Replaced the theater’s Mediasonics 9300 with a BrightSign HD1020 player and the exhibit’s Alcorn DVM4 with two Alcorn DVM7400s and one BrightSign HD1020. The redesign ensured compatibility of the new players with HDMI outputs to the current projectors and flat screens that did not have HDMI inputs. Also, re-wrote the control code for the both the theater and the exhibit systems to account for the new devices. Also provided trouble shooting of exhibit lighting system during the system upgrade install.

Contracted by:  National Park Service

Completed:  April, 2013

Click here, for earlier projects.